Book Reviews

Makepeace (Taking Shield 3) by Anna Butler at Glass Hat Press

Genre Gay / Science Fiction / Military/Former Military / Aliens / Other Planets / Outer Space / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller / Action/Adventure
Reviewed by Kristin F. on 03-April-2020

Book Blurb

Returning to duty following his long recovery from the injuries he sustained during the events recounted in Heart Scarab, Shield Captain Bennet accepts a tour of duty in Fleet as flight captain on a dreadnought. The one saving grace is that it isn’t his father’s ship—bad enough that he can’t yet return to the Shield Regiment, at least he doesn’t have the added stress of commanding former lover Fleet Lieutenant Flynn, knowing the fraternisation regulations will keep them apart.

Working on the material he collected himself on T18 three years before, Bennet decodes enough Maess data to send him behind the lines to Makepeace, once a human colony but under Maess control for more than a century. The mission goes belly up, costing Albion one of her precious, irreplaceable dreadnoughts and bringing political upheaval, acrimony and the threat of public unrest in its wake. But for Bennet, the real nightmare is discovering what the Maess have in store for humanity.

It’s not good. It’s not good at all.

First edition published by Wilde City Press, July 2016.

Book Review

This cannot be read as a stand-alone. Please read ‘Gyrfalcon’ and ‘Heart Scarab’ first if you haven’t done so already. When the book left off in ‘Heart Scarab’, I noted in my review that I was uneasy. ‘Heart Scarab’ wasn’t quite a cliff-hanger, but it had me drumming my fingers on the table going “Hmm” I was still going “Hmm” when ‘Makepeace’ started. I knew this all had to be leading to something, but…what exactly, was the question.


The premise of ‘Makepeace’ is that Bennett has been recovering from his injuries over the last year and filling time by teaching at the university. The Supreme Commander decides Bennett can begin to serve his mandatory rotation out of Shield in the main Fleet. Not what Bennett wants, but it’s the fastest way he’ll get back to Shield.


Meanwhile, Bennett has made a gruesome discovery on the abandoned planet of Makepeace – the Maess have a colony of humans they are using for what Bennett suspects are experimental projects.


When the Makepeace situation is brought to the Supreme Commander’s attention, he assigns Bennett and his counterpart, Felix, to head a task force. Once on the ground on Makepeace, the situation is more horrifying than anyone realized. It only gets worse when the dreadnaught Caliban abandons its post, leaving the mission in peril, and Bennett – who’s on the ground – to blame.


Enough recapping – there is so much going on in this book that I can’t summarize without writing a small novella myself. Everything is so well interwoven and integrated that it all flows together seamlessly.


The title of the book, I think covers a lot of nuances – Bennett making peace with himself, his father Caeden, his girlfriend Rosie, and ultimately, Flynn.


A couple of things niggled at me, and I fully admit this is coming from my sci-fi background. I found it difficult to understand why the military/Bennett found what the Maess were doing to the humans so horrific. This is a future society, this is the military, humans do horrible, horrible things to others, so why the overly dramatic reactions?


The Rosie/Bennett aspect – Rosie wanted Bennett, Bennett thought he wanted Rosie. But when Bennett provided a solution, Rosie was upset and turned Bennett away. Gave me brain skids a bit, even though Rosie hit the nail on the head (purposely being vague and ambiguous…).


Lastly…ARRRGGHHHH!!!!!! I have to wait for the next book! This should fall under cruel and unusual punishment.


And it’s SO worth it!





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author for the purpose of a review. This review was first published on Gay Book Reviews.


Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 330 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 08-December-2016
Price $3.99 ebook, $13.50 paperback
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